The NAMM Foundation Announces Events and Professional Development Opportunities

The NAMM Foundation Announces Events and Professional Development Opportunities

At The 2020 NAMM Show, arts and nonprofit leaders, music educators and administrators, and college music students and faculty will have the opportunity and access to grow their networks, gain insights through robust professional development programs, access to the latest in music and pro audio products and technologies, and to advance music-making each day of the Show.

Professional Development
Beginning Thursday, January 16, The NAMM Foundation will host three tracks of education designed to offer emerging and established professionals. College music students, music educators and administrators will return to the show to attend GenNext, which provides access to education sessions organized by the College Music Society (CMS) that explores career pathways and peer-to-peer networking opportunities, including a special “Careers in Music Summit,” panel session with trumpeter Jonathan Dely and NAMM President and CEO, Joe Lamond.  Participants will also have access to special events, concerts, the NAMM Show floor, and the opportunity to make meaningful professional connections. The GenNext program will welcome more than 2,000 college music students and faculty, including 103 recipients of NAMM’s President’s Innovation Award.

For pre-K-12 music teachers and administrators, The NAMM Foundation presents Music Education Days (MED). Now in its 14thyear, the program will offer music teachers and administrators networking opportunities and the chance to experience the newest innovations in school band and orchestra instruments. MED attendees are also invited to attend TI:ME sessions and to participate in new product and technology showcases. The showcases are designed to offer attendees speed-round presentations of a variety of musical instruments, software, and programs for the classroom and beyond.

At the Nonprofit Management Institute, a series of six sessions covering nonprofit governance, communications, strategic planning, and the state of federal education policy will be uncovered with leading arts advocates. The program will welcome over 100 different organizations and grantees to gather in support of creating stronger alliances and opportunities for music-making in their own interest areas.

Advocacy in Action
Other NAMM Foundation activities include the annual Day of Service. On Tuesday, January 14, NAMM members will gather at Horace Mann Elementary School to help students learn to play melodica with YouTube sensation Melodica Men, ukulele, guitar, and drums, as well as engage in choral and movement sessions led by author and composer John Jacobson. Now in its seventh year, the day aims to put “advocacy into action” with support for the Anaheim Elementary School District and its efforts to provide music education to every child.

Special Events
On Thursday morning, at the opening of the Show, GenNext will kick-off with the Melodica Men, the musical duo who have gained an international following for their fun and virtuosic melodic playing.  In the evening, the Foundation will welcome attendees to the NAMM Yamaha Grand Plaza Stage for The Celebration for Music Education featuring Sarah McLachlan. 

On Friday and Saturday, Lounge 88 on the Convention Center’s third level will come alive with Roomful of Pianos; a concept which will see spectacular multiple piano music, with pianists from around the country performing symphonic arrangements, jazz explorations, and clangorous delights for 30 players with the music of Frans Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, and Freddie Mercury/Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody. Performances will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings and be complemented by a variety of educational sessions for participants and piano professionals.

On Saturday, aspiring and established songwriters enrolled in college or university music programs will have the chance to have their original music heard by industry professionals at the IMSTA Songwriting Competition at NAMM (ISCAN)The winner and runner-up will be named at that evening’s TEC Awards. Saturday will also see A Cappella at NAMM: the performance contest of three college- or university-level a cappella groups, as selected by professional vocalists Amy Engelhardt, India Carney, Jeff Smith, VJ Rosales, and Rob Dietz.

Also on Saturday, The Grand Rally for Music Educationwill convene music education advocates for a celebration of the benefits and pleasures of music education and will welcome ten-time Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin and Gimme5 for a special performance. McFerrin, who became a household name with his earworm hit, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” has a rich history as an instrumentalist and bandleader. A history which is key to understanding his innovative approach to mapping harmony and rhythm with his voice, in his signature style. “I try not to ‘perform onstage,” says McFerrin. “I try to sing the way I sing in my kitchen, because I just can’t help myself. I want audiences to leave the theatre and sing in their own kitchens the next morning. I want to bring audiences into the incredible feeling of joy and freedom I get when I sing.”

Along with McFerrin, the Grand Rally for Music Education will also feature a preshow performance  by The Langley Ukulele Ensemble and The Legacy Ukulele Ensemble and winners of the A Cappella at NAMM contest.

In addition to the education and various events, professionals will have the chance to experience the latest in musical instruments and pro audio on The NAMM Show floor from nearly 2,000 exhibitors representing 7,000 brands, enjoy daily performances on the NAMM Yamaha Grand Plaza and NAMM Pioneer Pro Audio Arena Plaza Stages, as well as networking events with like-minded professionals.

For a complete list of NAMM Foundation activities, please visit

The NAMM Foundation’s GenNext, Music Education Days, and The Nonprofit Institute are just three programs from the suite of professional development opportunities at The 2020 NAMM Show, which also includes NAMM UTEC TracksA3E’s The Future of Audio program; Audinate’s Dante Certification TrainingAES Academy at NAMM,  presented by the Audio Engineering Society; and event technology sessions, curated by ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association); The Pro Production Sessions presented by Front of House and Projection Lights & Staging News magazines; and Lighting&Sound America/PLASA. These educational sessions will take place at the NAMM U Education Center at the Hilton Anaheim, located next door to the Anaheim Convention Center, and are open to NAMM members.

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